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Know-A-Net: Keyon Dooling

September 29, 2008
by Ben Couch -- NJNETS.COM

East Rutherford, NJ Keyon Dooling is genuine. To the point where I felt bad after he gently chided me for asking about his prized outfit, because it couldve reflected negatively upon him. Hes family-oriented, knows his video games and has quite an appetite for reading.

He also enjoys playing hard-nosed defense, which led the New Jersey Nets to pursue him in 2005 (he signed with Orlando), and again successfully this year, bringing him over in a sign-and-trade. The self-proclaimed NBA survivor averaged 8.1 points and 1.8 assists for the Magic last season, shooting a crisp .468 from the floor.

We had the chance to speak to Dooling at Media Day. Its time to Know a Net! Whats one of your earliest basketball memories?

Keyon Dooling: Wow. I have a lot, but probably my earliest basketball memory is being four years old and getting a little hoop at Christmas-time. Who most encouraged you as a basketball player?

Dooling: Early on, I would have to say my brothers. We competed against each other in everything, from Nintendo to swimming to basketball to whatever we were doing. Thats where I learned how to compete, and thats who encouraged me and kept me in sports. You mentioned video games what did yall play?

Dooling: For Nintendo, it was Tecmo Bowl, know what I mean? You were earlier trying to get San Francisco or the Giants because they had some unstoppable players. Tecmo Bowl Double Dribble Contra we played together: Up, up, down, down, left, right, left right, B, A, Start. The Konami Code!

Dooling: Yeah, ha. But thats where (the competitiveness) stems from. Your media guide bio claims your family is your most treasured possession. I know your moms a published author hows her book?

Dooling: Oh, shes doing well. Shes a genius in my eyes. But my whole family, my wife and my kids, my family, her family other than my relationship with the Lord, man, my family is the most important thing in the world. How often do yall get together?

Dooling: (My wife and I) both have big families, so its not like we just gather and stuff like that. But were part of each others everyday life. We either speak or email or text pretty much every day. What player did you most admire when you were younger?

Dooling: [Automatically] Michael Jordan. What about him?

Dooling: Everything about him. The way he walked, the way he stuck his tongue out, the way he jumped, the way he moved, the way he chewed his gum, the way he handled himself on and off the court. Michael Jordan, I think he inspired a whole generation behind him.

I got a story: We played the Wizards when I was with the Clippers and MJ was playing on the Wizards I broke NBA rules. I actually spied on their shootaround. I was watching Michael chew his gum and all that. Ive always been a Michael Jordan fan. Since Jordans your favorite player, are you a big shoe guy?

Dooling: I like clothes and I like shoes, but not tennis shoes; thats not my thing. I mean, except Adidas, of course. [Laughs] But Im into fashion, I like to look nice. So whos the most stylish guy on the team?

Dooling: I dont know. Youll have to ask them. I havent seen them dressed yet. But probably 98 percent of them will say me. But I know Bobby, because I played with Bobby, and I know Bobbys a fly dude. Bobby, he likes to look nice. Whats the prized outfit in the Keyon Dooling collection?

Dooling: I dont want to sound materialistic or anything like that, but I like my suits, I like a good shoe. I like everything to be coordinated, from the tie to the shoes. But I wouldnt consider them a prize or anything. Nothing stands out?

Dooling: No favorite outfits or anything like that. As long as they look good. Whats your gameday routine?

Dooling: Wake up, eat breakfast, come to shootaround. What do I do? I do the same thing. Its boring because I have to do a lot of treatments and stuff to get myself going before the games and after practices and stuff like that. But I take a little nap, eat again and come to the game. Nothing special, I just chill out. Any superstitions?

Dooling: Only thing I have to do before I play is pray. Other than that, nothing is a must do. Any focus when you pray?

Dooling: Thats just however I feel at the time, a personal prayer. Nothing in particular. Whats the best way to relax after a game?

Dooling: Take a hot shower, eat and then sometimes it may take you a while to wind down because all the adrenaline is flowing, your competitive juices are going a little bit. I dont rush it, I just go to sleep when I go to sleep. You mentioned video games earlier. Do you play the NBA ones?

Dooling: Nah. You know what? As soon as I got to the NBA, I stopped playing them. Its weird all my life I wanted to be on the NBA games and stuff like that. I think it had to do with a combination of starting a family, and whether youre going to invest five hours in a season of Madden or college football or NBA basketball, NBA Live or 2K, whatever you play. Id rather spend that time with my kids.

So if I play a game, its usually a one-player game. I like the Grand Theft series. I like The Godfather, that game was pretty cool to me. But other than that, Im chillin. I like to read. Im a reader, and thats recently just become a big hobby of mine. Reading, fishing, spending time with family and friends. Youve been reading a lot? What books?

Dooling: You know what? Im reading several books. Im reading a John (C.) Maxwell book, The 21 Indisputable Qualities of Being Leader. Im reading this book called You, Inc. its about the art of selling yourself. 6.5 Assets to Networking (Your Way to Rich Relationships), which is pretty cool. I read the Bible. And Im reading something a little bit different, its called The Unseen Hand. Im just getting in to it. Its one of those conspiracy-type things. I read it in the morning times. I get most of my reading done then. How do you choose whats next?

Dooling: Most of the books that I get, people give them to me, whether its friends, people I consider mentors or just people who say, Hey, KD, I think you might like this one. So I would say 85 percent of the books that Ive been reading, Ive either heard about from somebody whose opinion I value, or theyve been given to me. I try and read between 10-15 books a year. That might not be much, but youve got to start somewhere.

Yi Jianlian

Brook Lopez

Chris Douglas-Roberts

Ryan Anderson

Keyon Dooling

Jarvis Hayes

Eduardo Najera

Bobby Simmons


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